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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday - April 20, 2005

NEW BERN - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that MICHAEL RAY ANDERSON, 40, of Farmville, N. C., was sentenced in federal court in New Bern on Tuesday, April 19, 2005. On September 28, 2004, ANDERSON pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was charged in an indictment filed on November 12, 2003.

Chief U. S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced ANDERSON to 184 months in prison, to be followed by a supervised release term of five years.

At the time of his guilty plea, ANDERSON admitted that he stole a .32 caliber handgun from a Farmville resident and then sold the weapon to obtain money to purchase crack cocaine. The weapon was subsequently recovered by the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. Prior to this case, ANDERSON had amassed 48 previous criminal convictions, including nine felony convictions, over a 23-year period. He was sentenced under the provisions of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandates at least 15 years in prison for those with three or more prior violent or drug trafficking felony convictions.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Pitt County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Justice Department's national initiative to reduce gun crime. Assistant U. S. Attorney John H. Bennett of the Greenville branch office prosecuted the case for the United States.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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